RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh police are offeringfree treatment
to Maoist cadres suffering from Covid-19 symptoms if they surrender and seek medical help so as to ensure that thecoronavirus
doesn't spread to the remotest village in the tribal Bastar region, or else the Maoists should issue protocols for self-isolation inside forest only and prevent meeting the villagers or moving across state borders mainly neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Reports of many senior cadres infected with coronavirus and other members of the banned outfit having symptoms have reached the headquarters, apolice official
Amid danger lurking over Bastar new strain of coronavirus detected in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh has beefed up checking at Bastar and Sukma borders and strict vigilance is being conducted along all the boundaries of the districts.
While proper checks can't be maintained on the movement of Maoists on borders and inside forests, there was information that Maoists were holding meetings in villages despite the vulnerability during the pandemic.
Speaking to TOI, Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava said, "Based on the reliable input from the sources, many senior Maoist cadres were suffering fromfood poisoning
and Covid-19. Maoist cadre Sujata, a member ofDandakaranya Special Zonal Committee
is said to be Covid infected and has a severe chest infection, breathing issue and difficulty in walking".
She's stated to be critical. Sujata carries a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh on her head.
Gangaloor area committee secretary Dinesh's 10-15 team members and another group of cadres in the Darbha division were also reported to be infected. They are posing great danger to their subordinates as well as villagers.
"As the supply chain of food and medicines for Maoists has been blocked due to lockdown and district borders sealed, the rebels are managing their survival somehow, which could be the reason for food poisoning, Pallava said."
It's a nationwide crisis and infection is spreading like wildfire but if it reaches remote villages where there's no road or availability of hospitals and ambulances, it will lead to a disaster.
Hence, police have decided to offer free treatment to the Maoist cadres seeking treatment or hospitalization. I appeal to Maoists to please avail treatment for coronavirus, surrender themselves under Lon Varattu campaign and police will bear all the expenses of their treatment.
They need to understand the seriousness of the pandemic as they would be putting their colleagues and villagers at risk by continuing to conduct meetings in villages and with their movement from one place to another, SP Pallava expressed concern.
SP urged for another option if rebels do not wish to surrender or seek support from police, "If the idea isn't suitable, Maoists should come up with their own Covid protocols and isolate themselves in forest by not meeting any other cadre if they suffer from symptoms of coronavirus.
They must stop frequenting on state borders mainly Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra as these states have been reporting a surge in cases, as well as new strains, were found.
Replying upon the authenticity of information on senior cadres infected, Pallava said that Maoists hadn't released any objection or denial on the input either, which they commonly do.
However, a statement is expected from Maoists in a day or two, related to the matter, he said.
As part of strict checking being done on district borders in the Bastar region, all passenger travelling from other states are compulsorily undergoing corona test.
The passengers coming from Andhra Pradesh via bus have to produce Covid negative reports in order to enter Chhattisgarh.
Travellers without reports are being tested at the border.
People testing positive are being sent toCovid Care Center
and migrants of Bastar district with a negative report are being sent to quarantine centre as a precautionary measure